Get a Job
"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." - President Abraham Lincoln, Annual speech to Congress, 1861
Do not get us wrong. The authors of this project have nothing against hard work. Nor do we condone laziness of the mind or body. We are, however, opposed to what amounts to legalized slavery that poses as work in many places.
The main problem here is control, and the fact that the people controlling may not have interest of the employee or anyone else in heart. CEOs have been known to lay off thousands or destroy entire towns just to keep an upper class lifestyle and private plane. They ship hundreds of high skilled jobs overseas while the professionals who made them successful end up working at Target.
Fortunately,there are eventual ways out of this scam, but it takes planning and persistence. There are many who went on to start movements, own businesses, or offer services that have high value and satisfaction. Until that time, many of us still have to deal with the work world on some basis. Knowing the work system is very helpful.
Where to find Work
Finding work takes diligence and can be quite a bit of leg work. If you are looking to work for somebody else, here's where to find it. At first we will be talking strictly about the standard corpgov and regular business jobs. More original ideas will be listed in the final section.
Newspapers. Although some newspapers are putting their classifieds online, many still have it in the paper itself, since the classifieds sells newspapers. Most of the time it is the Sunday edition of the paper with the most ads. If you pay attention week after week, you can spot the ads that merely keep a yearly ad in the paper whether hiring or not versus actual openings. Be aware that many others also look at the paper and the positions get filled quickly.
Union Hall. Getting in with the union will land you a well paying, less-abusive job in the field of your choice, and your friendly local local will generally help you find work. Joining a Union is one of the most revolutionary things the average person can do, as it's putting Socialist principals into action. Just be sure to support your union brothers and sisters.
Phone Book. Another idea that can help is to grab the local phonebook and go to every place in there that may use your skill. You would be surprised that some places never advertise.
Internet. If you can wade through quite a bit of employment scams, spam, and useless ads, there are many sites that offer jobs. Some sites cater only to certain fields, while others are very broad. Larger organizations have now moved solely to online applications - even to the point of having multiple computers set up in their HR department if anyone shows up in person. Always go only to the actual company website to apply. Even legit agencies will never mention the names of client corporations in a ad. ALWAYS follow up an internet application IN PERSON as nowadays folks are spamming applications and bombarding HRs where your application may never be read!
Friends and Relatives. Sometimes a friend can talk to his boss to get you past a lot of red tape. Many, however, may also have reservations against helping a friend for fear of you making them look bad. However, it is always good to check.
Job Fairs. This is hit or miss. Job Fairs do not really advertise that well, either. Career sites, the newspaper, and the unemployment office is the best way to find out about these. Be sure to get a list of the companies who are there as many of these events may not have things you are interested in. While most of the time, this is just a show from employers to collect tons of applications and not hire or get a discount on unemployment insurance, you will probably meet a person who actually makes hiring decisions (not HR), get their name and contact info, and put a 'face' on your application.
Internship/ School Program. If you are in school or have a trade, some programs have work for folks in some fields. Check with the counselor or job placement department. Work Study programs can also be an option, but these have long waiting lists and do not pay much. Only thing bad about internships is that you are not paid. It does count somewhat as experience but many employers want actual paid experience. If you are in a high turnover field, many folks get hired after the internship is over. If you are in a low turnover field with lots of job seekers, the folks you intern for are probably not going to hire you unless you really mesh with them in some way. You can get references, though.
Jobcorps. If you are in certain US cities and between certain ages, Jobcorp helps train foks for careers that pay a bit more and are needed in that community. http://www.jobcorps.com. They also help place you in work after finishing the program.
Join forces with the Government! Yes, you too can have a cushy government job! Federal jobs are at http://usa.gov and has everything from NASA engineers to orderlies at a VA hospital carting patients around to janitors buffing floors . Each state also has websites, and each city at least has one building in it with a bulletin board of jobs. Expect long hiring procedures, background checks, and probably drug tests as well. But, once you are in, you can expect better wages and a decent pension and awesome benefits.
Speaking of which, there is also the Military. But be highly warned and informed. Check out Join the Army of Your Choice
What you need
Obviously, you are going to need some things before even starting. Let's talk about some things that are vital and things that can come up. Most of them are common sense, but all the situtions bear mentioning.
These things are almost always REQUIRED:
Picture ID and Social Security Card or Birth Certificate:. There is a form CorpGov has folks fill out with hiring paperwork in the US called an I-9. INS makes employers have this paper on file in case they are suspected of having illegal immigrants. Even if the job is an under-the-table job that doesn't use I-9s, most folks at least want to see a picture ID. You are also going to need to be above a certain age for many jobs. This is what screws runaway teenagers into bad situations, sometimes leaving them with no option but survival sex(prostitution or traded sex for a place to stay), the inability to be legally employed in many cases.
Clean, not worn out clothes: Dressing for an interview varies widely. Some examples: It is perfectly acceptable for a medical applicant to dress in scrubs for an interview. Professional positions probably want a suit and tie. Construction jobs may be only mostly concerned about what tools you have and you do not reek of booze. Short of suit and tie requirements, you can usually never go wrong with the corpgov approved submissive slavery seeker outfit: the pressed white button up shirt, belt, black pants, and black socks and shoes. Take into account what is acceptable and what probably will not fly. Be also aware that some jobs may have uniform or dress requirements that you may have to purchase after employment. Check Free Clothing for ideas and insights on clothing in general.
Telephone: There are a few that hire on the spot. More often, the employer is going to want to call you. If they have no way to get in touch, they will go to the next application and throw yours in a file of old applications, never to be viewed again.
Some sort of skill: Surely, something you can do, even if just labor. The more skills and more valuable skills you have, the more money you can get and the more options you will have. Always try to pick up new skills.
Not just to be able to help some business owner get rich and get yourself a pittance, but to make yourself more valuable. Those with no skills or just one skill historically get screwed.
Transportation. Preferably a car. Never mind that many throwaway jobs will not pay enough to maintain one. If you do not have a car, at least be on a bus line, bike, or arrange a ride. You can not keep a job you can not get to. If you do not have a car, it is probably best to lie if you can arrange getting there as some employers will shit can the application if you say you do not have a car. Do mind your clothes and appearance if commuting leaves you exposed to weather.
Attitude: If you go in with a shitty attitude, you will not get hired.
Initiative: There is much competition for jobs. Even more so in periods of recession. Make this a goal. Talk to many places and do not wait around for just one to call you back.
These things you may find are extremely HELPFUL, but may not be required, depending on circumstances:
Verifiable experience: This actually trumps any diploma or college out there except possibly those that merely use degrees to weed out applicants. Someone with experience in a skill will beat someone with no experience most of the time.
Pass (or get around) a drug test: More and more employers are in bed with CorpGov to make those that consume certain substances unemployable. In the ads you can look for things like 'Drug Free Workplace' or 'Drug Screen Required'. More and more employers are starting this because of massive discounts on Worker's Compensation Insurance if they do. Even if the job is not a high trust job. Check out ' Drug Testing' under 'Free Dope' if this concerns you.
'Pass' a personality test. Some employers are using personality tests to weed out thieves or those with nonsubservient thoughts. Some of these are computerized and ask the same question over and over to establish a pattern of thought. Of course, academics have conflicting views of these tests actual effectiveness. That does not prevent big companies and large chains from using these.
No major criminal record: This can be a deal breaker depending on where because of background checks. Some places do extensive ones, some places do just quick ones, some places say they do but do not, and some places do not care if you axe murdered 50 people as long as you can do good work. There are local laws that vary widely as to what you have to report and what you do not. Usually anything over 7 years you do not. But this, again depends on profession and area. Check your local laws. Please note, that if you have a felony, that this places you not able to get many jobs. If you are unfortunate enough to have one, check around. It is possible to get employment with a felony, you just have much less to choose from.
Clean driving record (MVR), valid Driver's License, and Car Insurance Card: If you're going to be driving the company van, or your own car to deliver stuff, they'll want to know how good a driver you are and if your license is valid. Some states suspend can suspend your license regardless of number of tickets or DUI/DWI for things like Child Support regardless of your state of residency.
Good credit: Some places, particularly top managerial and banks require a good credit report. This, along with lack of collateral is also one of the things that keep folks from borrowing to go into business themselves as most of the time a huge amount of cash is needed to start out.
Equipment/Tools: Some, but not all jobs may require you to have your own tools. This can be fairly easy to get to downright expensive. Examples: Delivery Driver needs a car (or bike in some places), Home Health Aide needs a blood pressure cuff. Other skills like a Carpenter, Mechanic, or Plumber may need hundreds in special tools.
Resume: This is a judgment call. Most lower-level throw-away jobs are going to take one look at it, throw it away, and ask you to fill out an application. More professional jobs and skilled jobs are probably going to want to see one.
Certificates/License: Some jobs not available to the common public are only available to those with the proper certificate or license.
Degree from real college: Some professions require a 4 year degree to even be considered, with master's degrees becoming more common for fields with a lot of perks and autonomy. If applying for throw-away jobs, try not to list advanced degrees as most of the time you will be 'over-qualified' (which is a term bosses use for being afraid you will take their job!)
Willingness to relocate: Let's face it. Some areas are just not very good for finding work. You may be stuck in a small town or a place where there is a shitty market for your skill. If you find this the case, and it will not screw you too much, you may consider moving. Either that or learn a new skill that has better demand.
There are many that want to take advantage of job-seekers even in the middle of the worst and best of economic times. Here are some of the more popular scams out there to avoid:
Fee-payed Employment Agency or Service. Many variations exist of this time honored scam. Some try to sell you on having access to some "hidden job market" and will offer you use of a database for a certain amount of time for a fee. Truth is, most will be fake or non-existent and you will be out precious cash in a time where cash is short. Run from these places! Another popular, but a bit more legit practice is to actually find you a job. But, they place a garnishment of half a month (or more) wages for a high turnover job as a fee taken out of your check! Or worse, charging a fee to listen to pre-recorded information on such things like government employment that can be found out merely by some good research or using the internet.
Paid Seminars or Boot Camps for Guaranteed Job Placement. Some scam artists will pose as an agency or actual hiring company to advertise a "for sure" job - if you pay a steep price for a class that may or may not offer actual certifications! Even if they give actual certifications, know that most certifications are worthless without actual experience. Once the classes or over, the artists leave for another area and no jobs are given. At worst, the job seeker is left with nothing and out a huge sum of cash. At best, they are still out a huge sum and now have a certification that could have been gotten from a Community College or through independent research at a fifth the price and better contacts as well.
Affiliate Marketers. These guys plague sites like Craigslist and other job boards. They redirect you to a site that phishes for information. They get your attention by claiming to pay wages quite a bit more than what the going rate in the area is for that particular job. Never give out information to a site unless you are for certain it is a legit business with an actual physical office you can visit. A tip off is if they are using free email like Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail or Live. Most legit businesses at least have their own e-mail servers. A small business that does not will not ask until they see you in person. Also, check to see who owns the URL that they're using. A free WHOIS search at NetworkSolutions.com will tell you who the website domain is registered to. If it is hidden under some service like "Domains By Proxy" or "Silent Register", they don't want anyone to know who they really are.
Work From Home/ Multi-Level Marketing (MLM). All these are quasi-legal pyramid schemes which are grifting with a Corporate face. They market though word of mouth events. They tend to target uneducated, rural, and religious types. However, sometimes physicians and other professionals are seduced by a good salesman. You buy a membership from a distributor allegedly to sell their product. The strangest part of the worst pyramid scams is that the importance of selling product is minimized, it is a veil to provide the appearance of legitimacy, the main urge is to recruit more "employees". The membership usualy requires a minimum product be "sold" every month, many deluded victims will buy their whole monthly quota to stay affiliated while they still have hope in recruiting their downstream sales force. The only ones making any money are the very few people at the top and the corporate distributor while the lower folks get screwed by ending up with overpriced items that can be hard to sell. MLMs have been known to keep a cult-like culture to keep people involved and the money pumping.
Be aware that there are always scammers and new scams are coming all the time. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. While it may be tempting to join in on the scams, remember, it is one thing to get a bit of dignity back from the man and a different thing to screw over some poor stiff looking for work. Fortunate thing is that there are several legit ways to get work. Most are common sense, but there may be some that may have never even been considered.
If you need work quick to keep CorpGov from throwing you on the streets or to keep from starving, there are some options. This varies area to area.
The main reason employment takes so long is because of Human Resource departments. They stand between you and the person who may actually be in charge. These guys are paper-pushers in the extreme and serve as a kind of guard between you and the person that actually makes decisions.
Lately, to make the HR job even easier, they make you fill out applications online. There are programs in the software that handles the data that makes comparisons between applications and automatically e-mails rejections if set conditions are not met. They also sometimes have the software search for 'keywords' as well (usually industry certs or certain degrees or traits). If those 'keywords' are not present in an application or resume, it never gets read.
Even after that hurdle is passed, you may have to interview with one or two others before even talking to the person who hires. This can take weeks (or months in the case of government employment).
For that reason, if you need quick employment, you need to avoid places with these kind of HR departments. Let's look at some quick options.
Day Labor. This is horrid manual labor type stuff. Stuff like digging, cleaning up after major sporting events, construction clean up, etc. Most major cities have a place like this. It pays very low, but you can get paid daily. All you need is 2 forms of ID, the ability to fill out a simple application, be sober, and able of body. There are definite drawbacks. There is no guarantee they will have work that day. Most of the time you have to show up extremely early in the morning (though there are a very few that send out at night). You have to sit there until work comes. This can be hours, if at all. Having a vehicle does help your chances, though as most folks show up without a car and the work site may be many miles away and want someone who can drive themselves and a few others over there. The staff will often treat you like crap and the employers they send you to probably will too. Mostly only crackheads and the homeless do this, but it is also a first choice amongst the recently unemployed. Labor Ready, Able Body, and many other outfits are in this business. This is CorpGov slavery of the lower classes at its finest!
Staffing Agencies. Along the same lines as day labor agencies, regular staffing agencies differ in that they do not pay daily. You also do not have to hang around there as they will call you with work. If you have a skill or certificates, staffing agencies offer to provide temp staff to events, places that have high turnover, or places that do not want to be bothered with having to put someone on payroll. The agency is the one that signs the check, but they send you to work somewhere else. You can choose when you do want to work. There are agencies for almost every skill from catering to general labor to nursing. These can sometimes get you to work very fast if they are busy. You can also refuse assignments you do not like. Problem is, many times they get slow. Also, when business gets slow, agency is the first to get cut. Work can stop unexpectedly and agencies are well known for favoritism in who they send out. You may also be under contract where you may not be able to be hired by the client if you happen to be sent to a place you like. They are also going to want verifiable experience in the skill you want to do. Outfits in this business include Manpower and Advantage Staffing (Administrative & Clerical, Light Industrial, etc.), Robert Haif (IT), Maxim Health Care
(Nursing and Allied Health), and many others. Beware agencies (particularly those that require high amounts of skills in low turnover fields) asking for work references as there is a scam where the headhunters will contact your previous employers trying to fill contracts rather than put you in a job!
Small Businesses. Smaller places where the manager who makes the hiring decisions actually has to work there is a good choice. Some have been known to hire on spot. Thing is, there needs to be correct timing. For example: do not go to a restaurant during lunch rush. Try to go when business is slow and the manager is relaxed. If that manager does not have any openings, go to the next one. Someone will hire eventually.
Pizza Delivery. If you have a somewhat decent vehicle, an insurance card, and no more than 3 tickets on your MVR, delivering food has always been a fairly easy job to get and offers a great bit of autonomy. The hours are short and this eventually tears up your vehicle, but it can put some quick daily cash in your pocket. The location you decide to work at is very important as far as how much cash you receive. Try to deliver places with upper middle class WASP neighborhoods that tip. Many lower working class delivery areas have such bad tips, the franchise owner has to pay more per hour just to get folks to get the pizzas out.
All of this information can be gotten from legal posters that are required to be kept in viewable locations at most jobs. Of course, this section is no substitute for a knowledgeable lawyer. Laws differ widely throughout the CorpGov Empire or even industry.
About the relation of state labor laws to federal labor laws: Labor laws are mostly concerned with the actions of employers (with the exception of some like Taft-Hartley which concern themselves primarily with putting stumbling blocks before unions), though in turn the existence of these laws has a big impact on the life of employees. Like most cases of state law, states may pass laws that add restrictions to those already put in place by the federal government (e.g. if a state passes a minimum wage of $7.75 an hour, an employer who surpasses that is still meeting federal law) but state laws cannot reduce or negate the restrictions imposed by federal laws (a state law establishing the minimum wage of $4 an hour would be meaningless, as would one saying it's okay to discriminate). In other words, states may add extra things employers have to do, but if the federal law says an employer has to do X, Y, Z, it doesn't matter what state the employer is in, they have to do X, Y, and Z.
Legal parts in dark-orange apply only if you are covered by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). The FLSA's benefits do not apply to certain groups of employees and employees under certain employers. If you are an executive, administrative, or professional employees (read: manager or white collar), employed at certain seasonal amusement or recreational establishments, employed as a worker at sea, a companion to the elderly or infirm/a casual babysitter, or a farmworker, you are not covered by the FLSA. Some state's labor laws will have
No matter what the law says you have a human right to Organize a Labor Union. In the US there are laws which protect employees' right to unionize and unions' right to exist, but there are also many laws written to damage unions and make it difficult to form one. Without a union the employer can hire, fire, and pay you as he pleases, if you don't like it they will pick another employee from the pool of workers on the job market. With a union representing you the whole of the employees can use their ability to slow down or stop work at the workplace to force concessions from the employer and protect individual workers. Your best success is with an industry or job site where a reasonable amount of training is required, hiring scabs, replacement workers will take too much time and money and your employer is better served by negotiating.
Employment At-Will. By default, employees in the United States are at-will. This means that they can fire you at any time without reason or notice. The main exception is that you can take them to court for some backpay if you can provide evidence that you were fired because they are discriminating against you being a member of a federally protected group(any racial group or gender, your age) or for taking family or medical leave (this is covered under the FMLA), but usually it's not financially worth it (the maximum fine is 10,000, but you'll rarely be compensated that much for a variety of reasons). There is usually a passage about this on the application. Fortunately, most savvy employers are not going to just let you go out of nowhere and unemployment is a totally separate issue. They are going to go the standard route of documented verbal warnings and write-ups to have documentation to show the unemployment office. They will still fire on spot for serious issues like theft or no call/ no show. Although at-will employment is the default federal law, state laws which affirm it are usually in place to combat unions spreading into those particular states. Just be aware of this. More on unemployment is under the Unemployment section of Free Money. Of course, any written agreement or union contract supersedes employment at will.
Minumum wage. The Empire sets a paltry sum up that is the least employers can pay hourly employees. In addition, some states can pay tipped employees much less if the tips are substantial. Some states and cities have a higher wage they use instead. From time to time, depending on the politics of the moment, this is raised. This applies to Salaried employees as long as you are covered by the FLSA; the employer is in the green as long as your total payment in any given week (that is, the 168 hour period that begins on one of the seven days of the week, as chosen by the employer) over total hours worked in a week (accounting for overtime) amounts to a per-hour rate that is above minimum wage.
This does not apply to "contract" employees, and employers may purposely misclassify you as a contract employee to take advantage of that and other legal exceptions. This is, for example, why Amazon.com maintains a spin-off "temp staffing agency" (Integrity Staffing) that "hires" temp workers that are assigned exclusively to Amazon.com warehouses. Note that although the federal minimum wage is established in the FLSA, many states have state minimum wage laws (which can only legally apply if they are equal to or higher than the federal minimum wage) which often have different exceptions than the FLSA as to who it applies to.
Overtime. If you work over 40 hours in one of your workweek periods for a single employer, that employer must pay at least Time and a half your normal wage rate for those hours in the paycheck you receive for that week. There is no limit to the hours an employee may work in a workweek, and there is no legal obligation for an employer to pay you a special rate for working on holidays or weekends.
Discrimination. It is illegal to discriminate on hiring based on color. Some states even have laws about age discrimination against older folks. Talk to a lawyer if you believe this to be a case. Even better, get a job away from backwards jerks.
Child Labor. Except for farm-labor, no one under 14 is permitted to work a job. 14 and 15 year olds may work jobs but only when the employer follows certain restrictions laid out in the FLSA. In addition to these, all states have their own labor laws, and many of these place greater restrictions on the age they can begin work and hours worked. Once again, this is what screws underage runaways and forces them into the underground economy.
Sexual Harassment. Many companies got hit with harassment lawsuits many years back. The orientation sexual harassment videos are almost cliche in larger companies.It is quite a bit rarer than in the past in larger companies because of the extreme paranoia. Nowadays many places have regulations against dating. Still, if you are a female around a lecherous boss who does not take no for an answer, talk to a lawyer or get another boss who is more respectful.
Worker's Compensation. Most legit places have state mandated or private insurance if you get hurt on the job that will pay any medical bills and sometimes give you a bit of cash to live off of while you heal. Be aware that anytime you get hurt on the job, a drug test is automatically given. This can affect Worker's Comp in a negative way. Some states even allow illegal, undocumented, or under-the-table employees to claim workers comp if injured at work.
Security Investigations. Company detectives or loss prevention may ask you up to their office at any time, as an employee you are obligated to go. If you wish you can refuse to be interviewed although you will be fired in nearly every case. If you refuse the interview or interrogation ask to leave immediately, as you are quitting, if they have enough evidence they might make an arrest or hold you for the police. The rules with loss prevention are mostly the same as the cops but they can also legally do dirty tricks like search without a warrant within limit, lie, and not inform you of your rights, but they are not allowed to detain you without your consent except to wait for the police to arrive and take you away. It is worth asking why you are being interviewed, perhaps you have a receipt for the item they think you stole or something similar. If they have real suspicion and you no tight alibi remain silent, demand for a union representative, and assume you are being recorded, remain silent until you can speak to a lawyer especially if you are arrested and taken to the police station. Even if the police are not involved your information may be placed in a background investigation database, so anything you say may be recorded to be used against you by future employers.
Even if you are fired demand your last check, without a court order they are required to pay you even if you are accused of theft or causing damage. Employers can legally snail mail your last check, however, if they want to be jerks or do not want you on property. It is usually small business who try to play these revenge games, often the amount owed is small enough to bring a case in small claims court, keep your pay stubs and your record of hours worked just in case.
Your employer is not allowed to deduct from your pay or not pay you for hours you have already worked, even as a punishment. Some employers do make you sign an agreement to pay a certain amount for provided uniforms if you do not turn them back in, however.
Bankruptcy. If the company you are working for goes bankrupt they may not pay you a last check, be cautious if they fail to pay due to bank problems or some other excuse, continued work might go unpaid. Some states will reimburse stiffed hourly workers but this can take weeks or longer to pay off.
Medical & Maternal leave and breastfeeding. Under the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), if your parent, your spouse, or your child has a serious medical condition, or you have a serious medical condition that makes you unable to perform your job, or if you are going to give birth in the next few weeks or you have become a parent or guardian or been placed with an adopted child in the last year (and you need to care for the child), you may take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave within a given twelve month period, and your job is legally protected when you get back. For this to apply you must have worked at least 12 months, at least 1250 hours over the previous 12 months. It is against the law for an employee to fire you because he feels you are going to, or you just did, make use of the FMLA. As well, under the FLSA, all employers are required to allow women breaks as "frequently as needed" from work to breastfeed their child, and a space to do so. This space must not be a bathroom, be shielded from view and safe from intrusion by other employees. It may be a temporary space. Employers with less then 50 employees are not required to do this if it would impose an "undue hardship" on them.
Blacklisting. While the official practice of blacklisting is illegal, nevertheless, it does happen. Legal ways of blacklisting includes professional certificate and license registries like the Board of Nursing, Sex Offender Registries, criminal background checks, and Credit Reporting Agencies. Many large companies are also owned by holding companies which may control many other companies. Human resources can legally put comments on your employee record and share this with other companies under the parent company's umbrella. In small communities and fields where everybody knows everybody, it is very possible that employers will share candid information beyond just work history. There are also at times secret and illegal databases that have appeared from time to time to weed out those suspected of union activity, theft, disrupting business, and even not getting along with the boss. If you are having trouble getting another job, this could be the case. Changing industries or geographic locations can be a solution to this.
Still stumped? Not everyone can be an astronaut, but here are some ideas submited by folks working on this project that could spark some ideas. They range from somewhere far out there to something that may be pretty useful. Be sure to research the requirements needed for what you want to do.
You want a good job that you can do for many years, with good pay, a respectful employer and a safe work environment? Contact your local union of the trade of your choice. They will generally have training and apprentice programs and can hook you up with a good job. Keep in mind that the engines of revolution have almost always been labor unions, so you're not betraying your beliefs. Just be sure to support your union brothers and sisters. Electrician is an easy, high-demand trade these days. Once you get in the field, you'll wonder why you're being paid so much, as the work is simple and safe. Plumbing, HVAC, and Carpentry are also good choices. Plumbers are facing a crisis of having an aging workforce with very few young people wanting to learn the trade. It's not nearly as gross as you'd think, there's always a demand and the pay is excellent.
The IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) offers training for both electricians and power lineworkers through their NJATC program. You're not guaranteed entry, as only so many slots are available, but if you can get in, you are guaranteed work. Union Apprentice electricians make a reasonable wage, whereas apprentice lineworkers make an incredibly high one (As high as $26/hr starting, scaling all the way up to $48 in some areas), however, linework is not for the faint of heart of those with unsteady hands. It is one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs possible. If you are not in good shape or are scared of heights, don't even bother.
Bicycle, appliance, electrical, small engine, and especially auto repair is a very good idea. If you are mechanically inclined, this can be everything from offering to change blown tires for a small sum when hitching to full blown restoration of classic cars to collectors for lots of money. Mechanics are always in demand and paid fairly well with a good schedule. The jump towards going into business for one's self is also easier than many fields (if you have the tools). Everyone needs an honest mechanic at some point.
Gold panning, shell collecting, shed antler collecting, etc; be careful what you are collecting is not ruining an ecosystem.
Many small businesses only want a computer or other consultant for a few days or weeks, many small businesses will be happy to pay under the table, take your pay every day or week so they can't burn you at the end of the job. Many jobs are available near a business fiscal year end.
Agricultural and yard labor
Find where the migrant laborers hang out for jobs, many employers will expect more work out of a migrant than a lazy Amerikan until you prove yourself, these are almost always cash jobs.
WWOOF and HelpExchange : volunteer on farmstays, homestays, boatstays and backpacker hostels all over the world. You're not paid, but you don't pay for anything (lodging, food, transportation).
Jobs like ski lift operator, banquet waiter in a destination convention city, lifeguard, camp counselor, or forest fire crews fall under this heading. An under the table pay job is usually not what you want since you want to play the unemployment game in spring and fall. See Unemployment
After a bit of practice try hiring yourself out for making things like window bars or iron gates from rebar or fabricating needed parts for old machines. Community Colleges and work programs also offer classes in this, if you need a bit more guidance. see Means of Production
If you can project an earthy hippie vibe and are committed to organic principles many people will buy their organic eggs and produce even without certification. A good idea is to get monthly or yearly subscribers to an egg or greenhouse produce club. See Farm It
Web auction sites are an easy way to make money either selling stuff you find or fix from your dumpster expeditions or even better sell software, multimedia, or support services online, no shipping required! You can collect by either taking checks or e-payments although be careful that you withdraw payments quickly keeping your account balance low, some online payment systems will seize some or all of your money if the customer commits fraud or complains. Some e-payment companies even give you a debit card to spend your earnings. Be careful about taxes since Amerikan e-payment systems report to the IRS.
Selling Crafts and wares
Many make a living selling wares and crafts, going to event to event. You could just lay out a blanket or sell out of the trunk of a car or sell in high traffic areas, but this can lead to police harassment. More legit, however, is to get yourself a decent set-up with several tables and a chair to sale your wares and go to real events. Find out where events are where folks would want to buy what you have. Be it Fantasy Conventions, Open Air Flea Markets, Arts and Craft Shows, or whatever. Be aware that most real events charge for a booth with electricity being extra. Be sure after travel and booth fees you will make enough to make it worth while.
Can not think of what to sell? Here are some ideas: Niche Clothing, Hand-made Furniture, Glass Pipes (check local laws for drug paraphernalia), bootleg DVD/CDs, public domain movies/cartoons/TV shows on DVD, umbrellas at rainy events. The list can be as long as your imagination and the profits as good as your location. If going to an event, always check to see what wares are allowed to be sold.
If you know a small business that needs things hand delivered offer to be their courier. You will either get to cycle sprint around town with a important document or even better jet around the country or world with their documents or prototypes. Law offices, jewelery dealers, and small high tech or aerospace manufacturers are good places to start. Of course most of these businesses will not send valuable things with some hippie stranger, so start with people you know or work through an agency. A benefit to working with an agency is you often have to work only the days you want to.
If the company wants you to use your own car, you may have to remove any bumper stickers that the company may consider inappropriate (A spraycan of WD-40 can remove sticker adhesive easily). A mom & pop outfit that sells flowers probably wouldn't want someone with "EAT THE RICH" stickers delivering the bouquets.
A van or bicycle trailer full of food can set you up to serve small to medium business in suburban and industrial areas. Stealth is important as unlicensed food service is investigated by the health department. Think about home baking delivery pizza with a partner or ice cream trucking with a bike trailer loaded up with cold snacks and dry ice. A fryer and propane grille set up in a van can feed dozens of customers at a job site. It is smart to get permission so the management won't turn you in. Precook as much food as possible and use steamer trays and boxes to keep food warm and keep everything that comes in contact with the food as clean as humanly possible. Remember, food poisoning is nasty and can get your ass in seriously hot water. An easy job is taking written orders and cash up front for coffee, deli, or fast food delivery in big offices; This might even avoid the health department jurisdiction.
Everyone hates the wasteful windshield spam in parking lots but it is a lame way to get enough for a few meals in a pinch. You can also offer to dress up in a costume and shake a sign in front of used car lots. Pizza places and Chinese restaurants have also been known to hire out folks to go into neighborhoods to hang coupons on doors.
For the occasional labor jobs, especially if you plan to be in town for a long time, advertise with business cards or refrigerator magnets. Going door to door at businesses is a good way to deliver them, but identify your market and stick to it. Give out your SMS and e-mail addresses so you will be easy to contact, especially in time-sensitive jobs like delivery or food orders.
Be sure the size of the job is large enough to justify your time and travel. Depending on the job market you might be forced to do heavy physical labor, that's OK as long as you are able to walk away when you want to. Get to know the workers compensation laws in case you are injured on the job, in some places you might even be eligible if you were working under the table but you will have to narc on your employer.
Where there is no money, sometimes a trade of services for services or services for goods can be a good deal for all parties. Trade was how folks got things done and ages past and some folks still deal like this to this day.
It is difficult, but possible, to earn cash writing articles or translating for web content mill sites. You will need a well written resume and the ability to string together sentences that make sense. Many will ask for published or example material. Results vary and competition is fierce due to globalization and the popular "work from home" work ethos. On some sites it is common to see slave labor offers like 50 500 word articles for less than 50 USD done with a week's time frame and free self editing service.
A good source article that gives a number of places that pay writers for their writing:
http://30queries30days.com/wordpresssite/2009/11/07/places-that-pay-writers-up-front/ Associated Content.com, Constant-Content.com, Textbroker.com, Elance.com, and Demand Studios.com are also more popular sites.
If you are an expert on a subject and can string together a database of content,you could host your own website, but that has more to do with advertising, programming, and luck.
Mystery Shopper/ Survey
We warn to be careful of work-at-home scams. But, sometimes there are legit CorpGov spy services wanting to know if their wage slaves drones are being submissive. It works like this: The survey company gives you a list of businesses that you must shop at that pay for the service. You then write about your shopping experience online and send the reciepts to the owner to get your money back or sometimes extra. You can do anything from an all nights club drinking session, sleeping your way round hostels, to going to a train station with the timetable and standing there all day to see how many trains are late. Be careful to make sure this id an actual survey company and not merely a marketer making you sign for text messages or make you pay for a "list". You may also find that they strictly only want the opinions of certain well-heeeled demographics. By "well-heeled", we mean you must state that you own and do not rent and claim a middle class profession and salary or that you are a housewife of such a person. Do not depend on this to pay your rent, either.
If you have a pick up truck and live near a suburban area, you are sitting on a money making machine! As long as you keep your license straight, keep it running, and do not mind being out in the heat and cold a truck opens near limitless options to make money free of employers. With a truck, you can move stuff for people for money. If you load a weed whacker and a lawn mower in the back, you can start your own landscaping business making money off of professionals with a bigger house than time to get out in the heat taking care of the lawn to look good around the other professionals. You can paint, do plumbing, or even basic carpentry all out of your truck with the proper tools, initiative, and marketing. Just cruise upper middle class neighborhoods and go door to door plying your service whether it is landscaping, gutter cleaning, lawn mowing, or whatever. Set up a web site, get a cell phone with unlimited minutes, print some flyers and cards and you may have a calling. We have known people that started doing this stuff in their late teens that ended up building wealth and massive empires like this - all while working for themselves.
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